Ontario funds ICU beds for McMaster Children’s Hospital

McMaster Children’s Hospital says inpatient occupancy for pediatric beds is extremely high.

Ontario is providing funds for intensive care unit beds at McMaster’s Children’s Hospital (MCH) amid a crisis in pediatric care due to a hike in viral illnesses.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) says the money for the beds is already in progress, with two level-three and four level-two ICU beds.

The occupancy at MCH is at 142 per cent and the hospital continues to see high volumes of sick children in the emergency department with a dominance of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza cases.

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HHS is exploring all options to support staffing needs at MCH and has asked staff from across the organization with pediatric experience to support the hospital.

A partnership between family physicians and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has been formed, which will make it possible for HHS to open a flu, COVID and cold clinic at MCH.

The new clinic will be for children and youth under 17 on a walk-in basis. It will operate on evenings and weekends.

HHS is expected to provide more information on Friday.

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